This violence has GOT TO STOP!
Seven teenage boys were packed into the Toyota Corolla, sitting on top of each other, when the car pulled over on the 1500 block of East Luzerne Street in Juniata Park. It was about 10:30 Tuesday night, and the youths were looking for a fight, police said.
It had started in school with an argument between some of the friends in the car and three teenage brothers, spilled onto Facebook with threats, and escalated into plans to settle the matter with a physical battle.
As the teens waited in the car, a man in a gray hoodie came out of a house and approached them. Spooked, they drove to the back of the house – but moments later, police said, the same man emerged from the back door and ran up to the passenger side.
He fired from 10 to 12 shots into the car at point-blank range. Joshua Soto, 14, of North Philadelphia, and Javier Orlandi, 16, of Kensington, were pronounced dead within a half-hour. Dante Lugo, 14, died Wednesday night at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children. The 16-year-old driver was hit in the neck and was listed in stable condition at St. Christopher’s.
Police on Wednesday identified the alleged shooter as Axel Barreto, the 30-year-old stepfather of the three brothers, and announced a warrant for his arrest. Barreto was taken into custody about 9 p.m. at the Knights Inn in Bensalem, said Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal John Patrignani. Barreto, who was with a woman, was not armed and did not resist arrest by Philadelphia police and members of the U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force, Patrignani said. Earlier in the day, police described Barreto as “armed and extremely dangerous.”
“There very easily could have been seven dead teenagers in that car,” Philadelphia Capt. James Clark said. “He just randomly fired.”
Here’s a sketch of Axel: